About the Museum

The exhibits include several types of boats found locally and associated artefacts, photographs and charts, plus nets and other items associated with their use. There are displays of maps, knotwork and boards showing the various uses of withy. There is also an example of a mudhorse which is a wooden sledge is propelled across the mudflats to collect fish from nets. The museum specialises in the shallow draft Flatner, a form of vessel once prevalent in the Bridgwater Bay and adjacent coastal areas. Flatners are small double-ended boats with no keel. Withy Boats and Turf Boats, which were between 16 feet (4.9 m) and 20 feet (6.1 m) long, were used on the Somerset Levels to carry peat and withies to market. They were built from elm boards or clinker and were pulled along the banks of the drainage ditches on the levels. River boats had a similar construction, but the bottom was curved to allow them to be launched down sloping muddy banks of rivers including the River Parrett, where they were used for Salmon fishing. Slightly larger boats, known as Bay or Gore Boats, have also been fitted with a simple sprit or jib headed sail, long rudder and dagger board for fishing use in inland waters.

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Get in touch

Use the information below to get in touch with the museum before setting off.

Watchet Boat Museum Office

  • Address: Harbour Road, Watchet, (Opposite the West Somerset Railway Station)
  • Postcode: TA23 0AQ
  • Phone: 01984 633 117
  • URL: www.wbm.org.uk

Business Hours

  • Opening times 2pm to 4pm every day from Easter to the end of September. Visits outside these times for parties or individuals can nearly always be arranged.

Watchet Boat Museum

Within a radius (as the crow flies) of 15 miles:


EX16   EX35   EX36   TA1   TA2   TA22   TA24   TA3   TA4   TA5   TA6   TA7   TA9   BA16   BA6  

March's Historic West Country

In March 1962, the Ash Wednesday Storm caused a huge amount of damage to the towns and coast around Penzance and Newlyn..Archive WWW.WESTCOUNTRYAUTOJUMBLE.CO.UK